For the upcoming spectrum sale, due on October 1, seven mobile operators are already deposited money of about Rs 15,000 crore. The amount is lower than the previous year's amount, which was Rs 20,435 crore.
"The cumulative EMD (earnest money deposit) submitted by seven telecom operators is about Rs 15,000 crore as reported in PTI. However, the number is not officially confirmed. Companies also refused to comment.
A DoT official, however, said the EMD cannot be linked to the scale of bidding. "In 2010, when Infotel Broadband, now Reliance Jio, applied for auction, no one was able to link their EMD with the pan-India bids that they placed.”
“There were established players in the market who were participating in that auction, but Infotel emerged as the pan-India winner of BWA spectrum," the official said. The official, however, refused to share EMD figures.
According to industry sources, Reliance Jio has deposited the highest guarantee of nearly Rs 6,500 crore while Vodafone has submitted an EMD of about Rs 2,800 crore.
Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel have submitted about Rs 2,000 crore and 1,900 crore, respectively. The balance has been submitted by Tata Teleservices, RCom and Aircel.
EMD is indicative of a company's strategy to bid in specific circles and spectrum bands. It gives them eligibility points with regard to those circles.
Spectrum is a critical part of telecom networks used by companies to provide mobile or wireless services. This time, mobile frequencies in all bands -- 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2300 Mhz -- will be put on the block.